UK takes part in test of vaccine delivery system

Robert Rose, Pharmacy Director Associate for Retail Pharmacy Services at UKHC unboxing a mock Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine shipment on December 3, 2020. Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
Pharmacy senior technicians Cody Purnell, left, and Brad Watkins, unboxing a mock Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine shipment at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital on Thursday.
Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky has completed a test run for distributing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, in anticipation of it becoming available within the next two weeks.

As part of the test, UK Health Care Pharmacy received a mock shipment of the vaccine on Thursday, to test readiness for distribution.

“Our ongoing coordination with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the CDC is critical as Kentucky prepares to start administering the first COVID-19 immunization shots,” said UK HealthCare Chief Pharmacist Philip Almeter. “This exercise will help to ensure an efficient vaccine distribution as soon as possible after a vaccine receives regulatory approval.”

The exercise also tested the new “Tiberius” tracking system, which is software developed by Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s program to fast-track vaccine development and deployment. The software tracks vaccine doses from their manufacture until they are given to patients.

The FDA is expected to review the vaccine for emergency use authorization next Thursday, and the first shipments are expected to arrive in Kentucky Dec. 15.